What is Business Development and Why It’s More Important Than You Think

March 29, 2022

what's business development

Like most business owners, you probably think of business development as something other businesses do. You might even think it’s too complex or challenging to bother with. But what if you get to know that business development is pretty simple and can be a massive boon to your business?

target customer

Business development is a process that can be summed up in one sentence: it’s the systematic and intentional growth of a business. This blog post will explore what business development is, why it’s so important, and how you can get started! It’s more important than you think, and it should be a top priority for any company.

Business development is a process that can be summed up in one sentence: it’s the systematic and intentional growth of a business. It’s more important than you think, and it should be a top priority for any company.

Business Development

A solid business development approach can help a firm achieve its business goals. However, if you ask many people, “What’s business development?” you’ll undoubtedly get various responses. That’s because its function changes with the company, depending on its size, maturity, and goals.

sales department

In a nutshell, “business development” refers to a company’s strategies and activities that lead to its growth and value. Brand awareness, relationship building, and market expansion initiatives are business development techniques.

Business developers evaluate a firm’s performance and look for potential ways to enhance its chances of expansion. Salespeople focus on closing customer sales, whereas business development takes a broader view and uses various techniques to position the firm for long-term success.

What Stage Is Your Firm in Right Now?

Regardless of its size or sector, every firm should engage in business development. However, the business stage has a significant impact on how you should execute it. If your firm is a startup just beginning, business development should include many company planning and strategy. It would help if you first discovered the proper business model, users, right channels, etc.

sales and marketing teams

On the other side, if you work for a large corporation, you already have a substantial client base. So you’ll want to know how to gain access to more of them. Your business development approach will predominantly deal with product development or new market entry in this situation. However, keep in mind the ultimate aim: creating and exploiting growth opportunities.

What Is The Overall Plan For Your Company?

Your firm’s overall business development strategy is another crucial element that impacts its execution. The company’s activities will change based on its central themes. Some organizations are highly reliant on sales, while others are more focused on products or building strategic partnerships.

company growth

In the case of companies dealing with sales, business development will involve a lot of lead generation, client meetings, presentations, many more. But if the firm prioritizes strategic relationships development, business development may require many sessions and strategic decision making.

Business Development vs. Sales

A frequent misconception is that “sales” and “business development” can interchangeably. The sales process comprises both a business development team and a sales team. It’s critical for everyone in the company to understand the parallels and distinctions between sales and business development.

First and foremost, sales development must be distinguished from the broader term of business development. The definition of sales development varies somewhat by industry and function, but it generally refers to a business development category with a different sales activity.

Sales development representatives and sales reps collaborate during the sale process. Sales development representatives are primarily in charge of generating leads, and sales reps are generally responsible for closing business deals.

marketing skills

Business development professionals are concerned with finding new opportunities to achieve long-term value. They do so in various ways, including recognizing new clients and markets. An advantage for businesses is that employees may be trained for particular responsibilities and career tracks throughout their onboarding process.

During onboarding, business development executives might get more attention on business development skills, while sales team members may focus on communication skills.

Finally, business development allows for sales, while the sales team helps drive business development success. Although the goals and responsibilities of each are different, they are both critical for the overall sales process’s success.

Marketing and Business Development

Another field that is frequently mixed up with business development is marketing. This is primarily due to the extensive overlaps in certain crucial areas, such as lead generation and brand recognition. In this case, the difficulties are more about efficiency than sales-business development.

This means that, in certain circumstances, marketing sometimes undervalues the contribution of business development to some essential activities. As a result, they both use the same resources to work on the same goals, wasting time and even harming the company’s brand image.

sales teams

The key to resolving such an issue is to ensure that the marketing teams have business development, connecting it with sales. This method would generate a flawless machine that could go with a customer or business partner from beginning to end of a potential relationship.

Business developers have direct knowledge of clients and partners that is extremely useful in improving targeting and messaging from a marketing standpoint. Finally, marketing and business development are intended to complement one another to enhance the potential for both sides.

Importance of Business Development at Different Stages of a Company

A small company’s business development approach will differ dramatically from a large corporation with 1,000 employees. This is because there are several phases of business development, and their responsibilities vary depending on a company’s maturity and size.

Startups, mid-sized firms, and large, established organizations all have different approaches in terms of business development.

1. Startups

Establishing a solid foundation for a new firm is critical to its long-term success. For startups, business development activities are all about establishing a solid foundation. The goal is to build the most outstanding possible products and services, assess where the firm fits into the market, identify investors and funding options, and create a trustworthy employee.

sales cycle

A business developer may also help organize a launch event to provide the team and their clients a chance to rejoice over what they’ve accomplished—launching a completely new company from the ground up.

2. Mid-size Companies

Once a company has established itself, business development plays a more significant role. The firm has reached this point in its life cycle, which allows it to capitalize on its hard work and established products to extend its development.

market analysis

During the startup period, team members may have performed business development tasks, but now is the time to find a dedicated business developer. Businesses in this period can continue to expand by enhancing and adding products or services, looking for new markets, and investing in growth possibilities.

A dedicated business developer can perform these duties and allow executives to focus on day-to-day business operations and other managerial responsibilities.

3. Large, Established Companies

More significant, more established businesses may benefit from the assets and customer base they’ve built over time, but they must also seek new ways to create opportunities. Business ideas are the key to success during this period of business development.

sales funnel

Detecting potential, nurturing, and implementing it—from both inside and outside the company—considering things like user experience, product features, branding, content strategy, and more—can result in innovation, new partnerships, and stronger business relationships with new and existing customers.

To make this happen, it’s critical to get team members and clients on board with these ideas. In this phase, business development efforts are focused on increasing business ties and finding new techniques to do business more efficiently and successfully.

The Value of a Business Development Plan

Business development is an essential function for businesses, and the outcomes are determined by the techniques a firm uses. Creating a well-planned business development plan can assist your company in determining its objectives and coming up with a punch list of activities for your staff to complete to help achieve business growth.

It is an excellent concept to begin by conducting a SWOT analysis. The first step in this process is to identify the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Consider what the company does well and its limits, capabilities, and competition. Next, pick a measure by which to evaluate the company’s performance.

sales reps

In addition to monitoring revenue, a firm may evaluate its growth based on leads generated, its number of workers, geographic presence, or new customers. Finally, decide who will be in charge of business development.

However, to ensure that you have the appropriate individuals for this important task, look for growth-oriented professionals, well-versed in networking, relationship development, sales strategies and ready to implement growth opportunities.

Many successful organizations place a high value on business development, and developing your business development strategy may put your company in an excellent position to succeed.

Why is Business Development Important?

Business development is the connecting thread that links all of a firm’s departments or functions, allowing it to grow and enhance its sales, income, product offerings, staff, customer support, and brand recognition when it comes to company development.

There are several critical areas in which a business development professional can assist in effecting change and boosting growth across departments. The following are the reasons why business development is more important than you think:

1. It Creates Important Relationships

Relationship-building is an essential component of the business development process, whether developing new talent, networking with potential partners, or courting prospective clients. A skilled business developer may identify the relationships that require the most attention.

business development activity

Connecting with customers, coworkers, and other members of one’s network may be critical to discovering new business possibilities, generating leads, and making key hires. Also, building solid relationships with existing connections will help you acquire repeat consumers or provide a chance to develop and improve talent from within.

2. It’s a Major Approach to Increase Income and Reduce Expenses

The end game of business development is growing, and one of the most frequent metrics for evaluating that expansion is the bottom line. The way to grow a business is to figure out ways to increase the amount of money flowing while reducing expenditures.

Focusing on business development may help a firm determine which markets and goods have the most profit potential and which business transactions to pursue first. Furthermore, it entails making decisions that help keep prices low and areas for development and the funds required to enable such growth.

3. It May Assist the Company’s Overall Reputation

Marketing is critical to a company’s growth, and a business developer may help it create a better brand. A business developer works closely with the marketing department to develop campaigns that define the company’s target audience and attract new consumers and markets.

strategic business decisions

Understanding the inner workings of a firm’s products and services and its customers is essential for company development. However, you may use these insights to help develop new marketing strategies that lead potential customers toward your products or services that would be beneficial to your company.

4. Discover Growth Opportunities

Tapping into new markets and growth areas may be a successful business development technique, and it entails keeping up with market trends and possibilities. A business developer can identify methods of entering these markets and reaching new customer segments by looking at consumer statistics and market data.

How to Improve Business Development

Positive business development is critical for both company advancement and increased sales. In today’s competitive and changing global economy, business development helps firms avoid slipping into the death spiral.

Given how important business development is for a company’s overall success and profitability, it’s critical for organizations to know how to improve their business development plans. The following are some of the tips for enhancing your business development:

1. Network Better

There are more networking possibilities now than ever before for business development. Now that social media has emerged, cold calling may no longer be the most effective method to acquire new clients. Social media and face-to-face networking should be included in your business development strategy.

business development goals

Industry conferences or trade shows are excellent ways to discover new markets and possibilities in person. Another advantage of networking more effectively is a more profound knowledge of the competition. However, spending quality time on these social networks enables you to discover helpful information about your competitor’s project management abilities and content marketing efforts.

2. Increase Interactions

The lack of personalization is a typical “Cold Calling” problem for business development. Customers nowadays want a more personalized experience and are more demanding than ever before.

company's reputation

As a result, business developers see the advantages of personalized consultations and sales demonstrations for potential customers. Consultations may help businesses and potential clients ensure they are a good fit before further down the sales pipeline.

When conducting both consultations and sales presentations, you should focus on the requirements and desires of potential customers rather than the general market. Sales presentations may be shared through various means, including social media networks and face-to-face meetings.

3. Diversify Marketing

A firm’s marketing approach and business development process must be in sync for optimum company success. In reality, a marketing development team can discover new marketing strategy possibilities and vice versa.

target markets

A company’s marketing plan may involve a variety of components, such as a content marketing team. The content marketing team is in charge of attracting new and potential clients to your business through relevant blog articles, video content, or even social media posts.

Benefits of Successful Business Development

A good business development strategy has many advantages for a firm, including:

1. Customer Relationships

A company’s customer base is critical for its short- and long-term success. A firm’s vast majority of revenue is from its existing clients, not new consumers.

business development work

Business developers are recognized for their efforts in discovering and acquiring new consumers, but they may also learn a lot about current clients during these procedures. For example, while business development teams are researching new markets, they may discover sales pipeline gains that can be incorporated into the sales process for an established market.

2. Self-discovery

New ideas and methods of working open up when a firm grows. When a firm enters a new market or creates a new product, it has the potential to develop its business strategy and values further. The self-discovery produced by business development helps ensure that a firm is relevant and profitable as it grows.

3. Experimental Space

Like improved self-discovery potential, business development opens the door for new ideas in every area of project management, content marketing processes, and more. The experimental space provided automatically during business development can potentially transform existing procedures, for better or worse, significantly.

During business development, the way employees collaborate and the company culture may alter. A successful firm will undoubtedly see an increase in its corporate culture and the ability of teams to collaborate effectively.

Spearheading Business Development

During business development, the way employees collaborate, and the company culture may alter. A successful firm will undoubtedly see an increase in its corporate culture and the ability of teams to collaborate effectively.

To some, business development might imply sales, collaborations, customers, new products or services, or entering new markets. And all of those meanings are correct. Those meanings have the same goal: business development is all about generating long-term value for a firm through continuous growth and improvement.

successful sales

The improvement in a company’s performance may come from the type or amount of consumers, relationships, markets or territories, goods or services, or operational processes. Whatever you decide is the most crucial element for long-term value. That’s where you should concentrate your business development efforts.

About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a freelance writer who focuses on sharing our Startup Oasis team's abundant knowledge with the rest of the world. Our team has no secret for anything to do with Startups, SaaS software firms, technology, Web and mobile apps, IoT, UI/UX Design. View on Linkedin